Seasons apart


“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

—Christopher McCandless


Gail and BETH Cranes copy

Three weeks ago I was kicking up my heels on the sands of Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts with my friend, client, and blog photographer Beth Shedd. Now, I am huddled inside air conditioning in Scottsdale, Arizona, with 110-plus degrees outside, committed to completing my book.

The dramatically different seasons aren’t the only shift in my life. I have changed. Taking the risk to move cross country and start again as an empty nester and embrace new and different experiences every day opened me. Like an elastic band, I have been stretched and there is no returning to the original state.

Courage expands one’s world. Life feels lighter and tasks that used to challenge me seem easier now.

Still, my 13-day East Coast jaunt earlier this month reminded me of my roots and deepened my sense of love, as I was wonderfully nurtured and embraced by so many caring friends and family members. I stayed in six different places and met with sixteen people during my trip, witnessing love from many angles—my dear widowed friend and her daughter, happily married couples, single women and mothers, business and high school friends and other acquaintances.

Instead of seeing differences in all the unique lifestyles, I observed unity in the caring, thoughtful ways the people I know express themselves. The authenticity of our connection felt so rich, especially at this stage of life when being real, forgiving and open-hearted is what truly matters.

I was equally blessed by seeing a different generation experience its own developmental season of life.

Watching my son graduate from high school and celebrating my daughter’s upcoming wedding at her bridal shower reminded me of the joy of new beginnings.

May your summer and whatever season of life you are experiencing blossom in love and connection.

With deep gratitude for my East Coast hosts and a happy summer to all,


P.S.—I don’t expect I’ll get to return the hosting favor until October, when temperatures here return to “normal.” Or, just maybe, when you hear that next winter snowstorm forecast, you will book a flight to Arizona!


  1. I allow myself to do something new and different every day this summer.
  2. I allow myself to make time to reconnect with an old friend (who is of course young at heart like you).
  3. I allow myself to bless my roots as I expand my life.


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  • Jill says:

    The summers take a bit to get use to.
    This is my fifth summer here, after living 50 years in the midwest.
    I definitely do not miss the cold, but how I do wish there was a pool in my backyard! I have the yard all landscaped and hate the thought of tearing out trees and lovely flowering bushes.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thanks for your insights and encouragement, Jill. I am treating summer like a New England winter, and staying inside writing. No excuses now not to finish my book:). I’ve also changed my schedule to go to bed and get up earlier for my morning walk before the heat gets too bad. It’s all a tradeoff…very grateful I dodged last winter in Boston!

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